Christina Stueve Hodges Jan. 30, 2013, 7:16am

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot on Jan. 24 granted a Cahokia store more time to respond to an Illinois man’s proposed class action lawsuit.

Plaintiff Willie Hadley claims he cashed a check for $1,875 at defendant Maplewood Markets, formerly known as Cahokia Mor for Less, in August 2011. In turn for cashing the check, Cahokia Mor for Less charged Hadley a $38 check cashing fee, according to the complaint filed last October in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The defendant on Jan. 18 requested additional time to file responsive pleadings to the plaintiff’s complaint.

Lopinot had previously granted Maplewood Markets more time - until Jan. 18 - to respond to the plaintiff’s complaint.

“Due to the ongoing settlement discussions, plaintiff’s counsel has consented to an additional 30 days for defendant to file an answer or otherwise plead,” the motion states.

Maplewood Markets contends that to deny additional time to respond to the plaintiff’s complaint would be unjust and would cause great hardship.

The lawsuit claims that Illinois law does not allow for check cashing fees of more than 50 cents or 1 percent of the face value of the check.

Cahokia Mor for Less charged him more than was statutorily allowed, and Cahokia Mor for Less did the same thing to numerous other Illinois residents, the complaint says.

Hadley is requesting certification of the case as a class action lawsuit and is seeking more than $50,000, attorneys’ fees and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Peter J. Maag of Maag Law Firm in Wood River.

Ryan Mahoney of The Cates Law Firm in Swansea represents the defense.

Maag filed a similar suit against Schwegel’s Market in Alton in August, claiming a woman was unfairly charged 75 cents when she wrote a check for $68.80.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-534.

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